What are some unusual Christmas traditions

Christmas all over the world: strange, unusual, funny, unusual

For some, Christmas is the pinnacle of consumer madness and for others it is the preservation of traditional traditions and the living out of religious customs. The customs are at least as diverse as the people who live in this world.

Let's be honest: Christmas is best with children who still believe in all the Christmas stories.

Do you remember how exciting the Christmas season was? The advent calendar should sweeten the waiting time, but instead (at least my sister and I) tried desperately to hide from the parents that the chocolate advent calendar was empty long before December 24th.

On Christmas Eve we had to wait until dusk. Then it went to my sister's room to sing. (At this point again an apology to the neighbors at the time - we were forced!) Of course, my father always had to go to the toilet at this very moment and when he came back he was sure that he had heard the Christ Child in the nicely decorated living room was of course basically the first to try to see something through the keyhole of the living room door. In the meantime, the rest of the family was more or less patiently behind me, after all, the Christ Child shouldn't be disturbed! After a short while, either curiosity or my annoyed sister won out and we stormed to the Christmas tree, under which the presents were.

In addition, there was always a huge plate of sweets. We mostly ate the leftovers at Easter, which was due to the fact that my mother had hidden the packs so well before Christmas that some things came to light when she pulled out the spring clothes. Oh, were those days ...

Christmas in other countries

Now that the magic of Christmas has long since faded, the festival is no longer as exciting as it used to be. We never celebrated it for religious reasons, and while giving and receiving presents is fun, it's hardly surprising. Sure, it's a great occasion to get together with the family again, but sometimes quite stressful.

So I decided to rediscover Christmas, look to the right and left and get to know new traditions and customs. Our world is growing closer and closer together and we benefit from learning from other people and cultures. As with almost every other internationally celebrated festival, there are also international customs and traditions for Christmas. I wanted to know which ones they are. I found what I was looking for on Wikipedia, among other places. Many are very similar to ours, but some Christmas customs from all over the world can only be described with the following adjectives: strange, bizarre, strange, unusual, weird, funny, fancy or just plain strange. Do you want examples? No problem, here are my 15 highlights:

  1. In Czech Republic traditionally on Christmas Eve you eat a Christmas carp with potato salad. This is particularly fresh because it is bought a few days before Christmas - and alive! Until he lands on the table, he swims in the bathtub at home, where he is lovingly cared for. Bon appetit then!
  2. Merry Christmas Donald Duck! Christmas Eve is in Sweden started with a Donald Duck broadcast at 3 p.m.!
  3. Which figures do you think belong in a nativity scene? Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus, the three holy kings, a few animals? The Catalans have also housed a special figure in their crib: a caganer - translated shit. A figure in traditional clothes of Catalan peasants with their pants down! Even the church doesn't mind.
  4. According to geo.de, India Nine families per village are condemned to take up wooden figures of Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus for one night, to feed them and to sing for them. These are likely to be very frugal guests!
  5. In Slovenia Guests who come to visit on December 25th are a sign of bad luck next year!
  6. Out of consideration for people from other cultures, in the multicultural country United States only with Season Greetings instead of with Merry Christmas advertised. Political correctness comes first!
  7. The early bird catches the worm! in the Kosovo Christmas Eve begins at 4 a.m., the first day of Christmas at 5 a.m., with late risers only being awake a few minutes later, because after a prayer there are fireworks.
  8. In South Africa a multitude of different peoples live, so there is a multitude of different customs in this country alone. As n-tv knows to report, the "Cape Malay culture in December, spring cleaning is the order of the day: the house gets a new coat of paint inside and out, curtains are changed, new clothes and bed linen are bought". And someone else say our Christmas party is expensive - at least we just have to buy some decorations and a few gifts!
  9. Christmas is for Kenyans the children's festival. But instead of celebrating, they have to toil: According to geo.de, the children have to clean and decorate the whole house and prepare the feast for December 25th!
  10. For Poland the course of Christmas is an indicator for the following year. Harmony and calm are therefore paramount on these days. I can be wrong, but isn't there a lot of family disputes on Christmas days? Well then, happy new year!
  11. In Great Britain and Ireland the whole family hangs in front of the TV! According to Wikipedia, "Watched TV more often at Christmas than the average time of year, and for many TV stations, Christmas Eve is the quoted busiest day of the year.“
  12. Celebrate Christmas on Iceland there are the gifts in bites. 13 cheeky Christmas trolls with interesting names such as Þvörusleikir (cooking spoon licker), Hurðaskellir (door slamper) or Kertasníkir (scorching candles) bring the children small presents from December 12th and play pranks on the Icelanders. If you are in Iceland before Christmas, you can surprise a friend by mail about the thirteen Christmas trolls. In Reykjavik, just keep an eye out for the big red mailboxes.
  13. Halloween on Christmas! In Norway On December 26th, children dress up as "Julebukk" (Santa Claus) and ask for sweets like on Halloween.
  14. Instead of Halloween, they celebrate Spaniards April 1st during the Christmas season. According to Wikipedia there is "on December 28th, the festival of the innocent children, a custom to fool others with fabricated or falsified stories“.
  15. In Denmark there is not only the advent calendar or the advent wreath, but also a calendar candle. Every evening the candle is lit until the respective part of the day has burned down. Definitely an alternative to the chocolate advent calendar.

Christmas calendar chaos

In addition to these idiosyncratic Christmas customs, many countries also celebrate at different times. The Philippines celebrate the longest: in mid-October the first Christmas hits are on the radio, on December 16 the Christmas season is officially and literally ushered in (with church bells). In other countries - like Russia - Christmas is not celebrated until January. The Russians have also postponed the New Year to January 11, because they celebrate according to the old Julian calendar of Julius Caesar.

Incidentally, the famous Christmas Islands in the Indian Ocean don't know Christmas, as they are predominantly inhabited by Muslims and Buddhists. They were only so named because they were discovered on December 25, 1643.

Veggie Christmas

Did you know that many countries celebrate a vegetarian Christmas? At least one Christmas day is celebrated vegetarian in some countries, which makes me particularly happy as a vegetarian.

  • In Poland is fasted throughout Advent. Lent ends on Christmas Eve when the first star rises in the sky. In memory of the twelve apostles, twelve vegetarian dishes are served. Only fish - mostly carp - is allowed on Christmas Eve.
  • Also in Lithuania You do not eat meat and dairy products at Christmas dinner, but fish is allowed, as with the Poles.
  • In Bulgaria Lent of the Orthodox Church begins on November 15th and ends on December 25th. The Christmas dinner is then even vegan, so it does not contain any animal products.
  • Also in Italy you are not meat on December 24th. The main part of the Christmas dinner is seafood.
  • The Egyptians celebrate Christmas on January 7th and are not allowed to eat meat the 43 days before.

I like to join the Veggi Christmas tradition, even on all Christmas holidays. But fasting for weeks before Christmas? No chance! I prefer to support the economy and consume a lot of sweet Christmas treats!

Nicholas, Santa Claus or Christ Child - who brings the presents now?

As a kid, were you confused too? There was talk of Nicholas, Santa Claus and the Christ Child. Who should still have an overview ?! I wanted to know exactly, but I received very different information, especially from Santa Claus Nicholas According to geo.de, it goes back to the canonized Nicholas, a bishop from the 4th century who celebrated his name day on December 6th. Other sources say that St. Nicholas died on December 6, 345 and that we celebrate St. Nicholas Day in memory of his good deeds, which, according to stern.de, was slowly replaced in the 16th century by the Christ child replaced: "As an opponent of the Catholic veneration of saints, the reformer Martin Luther replaced St. Nicholas with the fictional figure in an angelic robe. This also made the birthday of Jesus Christ the actual day of Christmas presents. "And then came Coca Cola ...

How Coca Cola created Santa Claus

At the end of the 18th century, the Christ Child gradually developed into the Santa Claus and with it our way of celebrating Christmas today. The image of Santa Claus was not uniform; Appearance and clothing were very different. In the early 1930s, Coca Cola commissioned the Swede Haddon Sundblom to develop a Christmas campaign. According to helles-koepfchen.de, he had the idea of ​​using Santa Claus as an advertising figure. Since the company colors were red and white even then, Santa Claus was dressed accordingly and got his current appearance. This image became so memorable that Santa Claus has been portrayed this way ever since.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is in a few weeks and we wish you a peaceful pre-Christmas period and relaxed Christmas days with your loved ones. Perhaps you too will take up a new, foreign Christmas tradition this year or remember old, long-forgotten family customs.

Greetings from the Hotel Kaiserhof
Julia Wieduwilt

Photo sources:
Kids open a magic present box © 2xSamara.com - fotolia.com
Pixaline - Pixabay.com
LAWJR - Pixabay.com
jill111 - Pixabay.com
Free-Photos - Pixabay.com
Invitation to eat - Pixabay.com
RitaE - Pixabay.com

The tourism industry has been my professional home since 2002. I worked as a travel agent for the first five years, and in 2007 I switched to the hotel industry, which I left at the end of 2019. My passion is to discover new countries, but also to discover my own homeland, to track down current trends and topics from the industry and to inspire others. With my blog articles I would like to inspire you, show you how diverse the hotel industry and the Münsterland region are, and encourage you to think outside the box every now and then.
We look forward to praise and criticism or suggestions for new topics that you would like to read about. Write us an email at [email protected]!